Rest In Power, Kevin Zeese

It is with a sad heart that I report the sudden and unexpected death of Kevin Zeese early Sunday morning. Kevin was working up until the end and died in his sleep of a possible heart attack.

Kevin was going to write a newsletter this weekend about the extradition trial of Julian Assange, which begins today. Kevin understood the great importance of the prosecution of Julian Assange as a battle that will define journalism in the 21st century and our right to know.

He was helping to organize an online event featuring Daniel Ellsberg, James Goodale and Chris Hedges, moderated by Sue Udry.

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The Two Parties Have Failed Us, But The People Can Succeed

The Republican and Democratic Party conventions showed that both major parties are failing to control the pandemic and protect people, address the climate crisis and clean up the environment, support families and businesses during the economic collapse, prevent police violence or deal with any of the other major problems we face.

These were two substance-less conventions. The Democrats focused on criticizing Trump without putting forward an agenda while the Republicans claimed Biden was a front for socialism when he is a deeply embedded corporate Democrat.

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Responding To Voter Suppression, Understanding Manipulated Elections

Voter suppression in the 2020 election has become a topic of great concern. In reality, voter suppression has been part of US politics since the founding of the country. The oligarchs who wrote the US Constitution enabled voter suppression by not including the right to vote in it and only allowing white male property owners to vote, suppressing the votes of 94 percent of the population. 

Five of 16 states had white-only voting in 1800 and after 1802, every new state, free or slave, except for Maine banned Black people from voting.

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Protect The Vote And End Privatization Of The Postal Service

As we were warned earlier in the year, the US Postal Service is failing due to a long term effort to weaken it plus the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, recession and intentional efforts by the Trump administration to suppress the vote.

Members of Congress and state leaders are starting to take notice because of the magnitude of the crisis and public outcry, particularly over valid concerns that mail-in voting will be disrupted. Now is the time to not only protect the vote but to use this moment to end privatization and selling off of the US Postal Service and expand it as a critical public institution that provides high quality jobs and services to all communities, rich and poor, urban and rural, across the country.

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Era Of US Domination Of Latin America Coming To An End

Despite its failings at home, the United States intervenes in countries across multiple continents seeking to control their governments and resources.

This week, we look at the US’ latest efforts in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Bolivia to undermine their independence and force them to serve the interests of the US government and transnational corporations.

In all three countries, the US has displayed a lack of understanding of the people and their support for their revolutionary processes, and as a result, is failing. As US empire fades, so might the Monroe Doctrine come to an end. 

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COVID-19 Crisis Failure, People Must Save Themselves And The Economy

The US is at a moment of truth. This week, Congress has to face up to a pandemic that is out of control and an economy that is collapsing. The Republican’s and Democrat’s proposals show they will fail this test. The people will need to protect themselves and lead from below. Our actions need to be about building a people’s movement that grows in power before and after the November elections. No matter who is elected, the people will need to resist, create new systems and rule from below.

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Popular Movements Can Overcome Authoritarian Policing

Today is the 60th day of protests since the murder of George Floyd. This weekend, people marched in cities across the country in solidarity with Portland and in opposition to the US becoming a police state.

President Trump sending troops to cities added fuel to the nationwide uprising against racist police violence. Protests have grown not only in Portland but in Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Omaha, Austin, Oakland, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC, among other cities.

Trump is not a ‘law and order’ president, he is a chaos and disorder president.

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Building On Victories For A Stronger Climate Justice Movement

While the climate justice movement has been winning important victories, stopping and slowing pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure, and putting the future of fossil fuels in doubt, the political system, long connected to the fossil fuel industry, is still fighting the urgently needed transition to clean sustainable energy. Both President Trump and former Vice President Biden put forward energy plans that do not challenge fossil fuels.  The only candidate with a serious climate plan is Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins.

The movement needs to build momentum from these successes for more actions to stop fossil fuel infrastructure.

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COVID19 Corruption: Wealthy And Well Connected Get Rich While People Suffer

While corrupt elected officials and elites feed at the public trough, the economic collapse is hitting people in the United States hard. According to the newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics figures 47.2 percent of working-age people are without work and businesses are finding it impossible to pay their rent or keep their employees. The basic ability to feed children is in crisis, as nearly 14 million children in the United States went hungry in June, an increase of 10 million since 2018, and nearly three times the number of children who went hungry during the Great Recession, according to an analysis of Census data,

Newsweek summarizes:

“Nearly half of U.S. households’ incomes have declined during the pandemic, with survey data showing both low-and high-income households being affected at about the same rate.

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Government Attacks Media As People’s Media Reveals The Truth

Government attacks on the media are escalating as the battle for the narrative grows in importance.

For the last decade, stories produced and amplified by the democratized media have put the power structure at risk. People saw government documents showing war crimes and violations of international law. We all saw police killing unarmed people and extreme militarized violence in response to nonviolent protests. These stories have been magnified by people realizing they are the media and sharing stories in their networks on a variety of platforms.

To maintain control, the power structure needs to stop people from knowing the truth. The recent RAND Report on the future of warfare cites the following concern

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Police Violence And Racism Have Always Been Tools Of Capitalism

The system-wide challenges the United States faces with policing are entrenched and deeply rooted. When the historical and current practices of police are examined, it is evident police have been designed to uphold the status quo including racial injustice and class inequality. Whenever political movements develop to respond to racial and class unfairness, the police have undermined their politically-protected constitutional rights.

Police have used infiltration, surveillance, and violence against political movements seeking to end injustices throughout the history of the nation. It is the deeply embedded nature of these injustices and the structural problems in policing that are leading more people to conclude police must be completely transformed, if not abolished.

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The Uprising Is Only Beginning: Building Power To Win Our Demands

The current uprising against police violence and racism is just beginning. It is rapidly shifting public consciousness on issues of policing, violence against Black people and others, and systemic racism. The movement is deepening and becoming broader as well as putting forward solutions and making demands.

The confluence of crises including recent police violence, the COVID-19 pandemic, and economic collapse along with the ongoing crises of lack of healthcare, poverty, inequality, homelessness, personal debt, and climate plus awareness of mirage democracy in the United States have created a historic moment full of possibilities. If we continue to organize and build power, the potential for dramatic change is great.

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A Mass Uprising Is Here, Protect It From The Ruling Class

The breadth of the uprising is astounding with antiracism protests in all 50 states and more than 500 cities plus more than 13,500 arrests in 43 cities. This weekend there were larger numbers of protesters in the streets including cities and towns of all sizes. In Washington, DC, where we were, the crowds were multi-racial and crossed all ages but were dominated by black youth. People were united in their opposition to racism and police abuse and their calls for systemic change.

While the crowds were notable in the nation’s capital, across the country, and around the world, what stood out this week is the palpable fear emanating from the White House. President Trump, who has blown racist dog whistles from his first-day campaigning in 2016, is afraid.

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Nationwide Uprising Against Failed State Triggered By Police Killings

The nationwide uprising sparked by the murder of George Floyd and other recent racially-motivated events is a response to the bi-partisan failed state in which we live. It comes in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic and the largest economic collapse in the US in more than a century. These three crises have disproportionately impacted people of color and added to longterm racial inequality and injustice.

Black Lives Matter erupted six years ago when a police officer shot and killed Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. Since that time, police have murdered approximately 1,100 people every year. The response of the government at all levels to the crisis of police killings has been virtually nonexistent. 

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Venezuela And Iran Show Solidarity Can Overcome US Empire

This week, Venezuela and Iran faced up to threats made by the United States and defied the illegal US sanctions by sending five oil tankers from Iran to Venezuela. The US’ longterm unilateral coercive measures have prevented the two countries with the largest oil reserves from selling their oil. This economic terrorism has caused tens of thousands of deaths in each country. Despite this economic warfare and constant threats of military attack, the two nations joined together in solidarity and broke through the US blockade to deliver much-needed oil and supplies to Venezuela.

This was a victory for sovereignty, independence, and peace. It was an act of dignity for both countries to take this successful stand against the United States.

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